**Disclaimer:** this is not an answer to the question as I have no explanation for why people don't introduce natural transformations in the way explained in the question, but I am posting this in order to expand a comment I made. The comment was

this is the starting observation
to make for introducing simplicial
categories as a model for
$\infty$--categories

Moreover, I am not a specialist neither of category theory nor of homotopy theory (and *a posteriori* of higher categories).

## The $2$-category of categories

The starting point is that the category $Cat$ of categories is actually a $2$-category.
For any to objects (i.e. categories) $\mathcal C$ and $\mathcal D$ we have that
$Hom_{Cat}(\mathcal C,\mathcal D)$ is itself a category.

This is very transparent when using the definition
$$
Hom_{Cat}(\mathcal C,\mathcal D):=Hom_{t_{\leq0}(Cat)}(\mathcal C\times\Delta^1,\mathcal D)\,,
$$
where $\Delta^1=\Box^1=\mathbb{G}^1$ is the arrow category $0\to 1$ and $t_{\leq0}(Cat)$ is the underlying $1$-category of $Cat$.

**Remark:** In general one can see a $2$-category $\mathcal C$ as a simplicial category by replacing the $Hom$-categories by their nerves.

In the case of $Cat$, we see that the $Hom$-categories naturally appear as $1$-truncations of simplicial sets (one can replace here "simplicial" by "cubical" of "globular").

## The $3$-category of $2$-categories

Le us now go to natural transformations of (strict) $2$-functors between (strict) $2$-categories.
Given two such $2$-functors $F,G:\mathcal C\to\mathcal D$ one can see that a natural transformation
$F\Rightarrow G$ is the same as a $2$-functors
$$
\phi:\mathcal C\times \mathbb{G}^2\to\mathcal D
$$
such that $\phi(-,0)=F$ and $\phi(-,1)=G$, where $\mathbb{G}^2$ is the $2$-category with two objects $0$ and $1$ and such that
$Hom_{\mathbb{G}^2}(0,1)$ is the arrow category $\mathbb{G}^1=(0\to 1)$.

Therefore the "set" of $2$-functors is a naturally a $2$-category.

**Remark:** as before we can then see any $3$-category as a simplicial/cubical/globular category by replacing the $Hom$-$2$-categories by their (simplicial/cubical/globular) nerves.

In the case of $2-Cat$, we see that the $Hom$-$2$-categories naturally appear as $2$-truncations of globular sets.

## Simplices, Cubes, and globes

The globe category $\mathbb{G}$, the cubical category $\Box$ and the simplicial category $\Delta$ are known to be suitable geometric shape to model higher structures. Simplicial sets are good models for (weak) $\infty$-groupoids. It was proved (by Jardine ... with some improvement by Cisinski if I remember well) that cubical sets also provide a model for (weak) $\infty$-groupoids.

I don't know any reference but I guess that the same holds for globular sets (which are quite more used by people working with automata).

## The $(n+1)$-category of $n$-categories

Let me consider the category $n-Cat$ of (strict) $n$-categories. A a natural transformation between (strict) $n$-functor $F,G:\mathcal C\to\mathcal D$ can be written as an $n$-functor
$$
\phi:\mathcal C\times \mathbb{G}^n\to\mathcal D
$$
such that $\phi(-,0)=F$ and $\phi(-,1)=G$, where $\mathbb{G}^n$ is the $n$-category with two objects $0$ and $1$ and such that $Hom_{\mathbb{G}^n}(0,1)$ is the $(n-1)$-category $\mathbb{G}^{n-1}$.

Therefore the "set" of $n$-functors is a naturally a (strict) $n$-category, and thus $n-Cat$ is a (strict) $n+1$-category. It also naturally appears as a $n$-truncation of a globular category.

## The advantage of working with simplicial/cubical/globular categories

Working directly with simplicial/cubical/globular categories has the following advantages:

- it does allow to work directly with higher categories without going through an inductive process.
- it allows to deal with
**weak** $(\infty,1)$-categories, as simplicial/cubical/globular are models for weak $\infty$-groupoids (here $(\infty,1)$ stands for "$\infty$-categories such that $n$-arrows for $n\geq2$ are weakly invertible").

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